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Anonymous asked: "Am I alone in needing a relatively quiet place to
work? How have others (especially lone writers like me) succeeded in
negotiating for a quiet workspace? When applying for a new job, how do
writers assess the suitability of their future working environment?"
You're not alone. A couple of years ago I was moved from a quiet cube in
a corner to a spot right on one of the main aisles in the cube farm.
There was a nearby door that opened with a whoosh and and closed with a
startling bang several times an hour. Impromptu hallway meetings. People
calling down the hallway to each other. A radio two cubes down that
seemed to be tuned to the "all ads, all the time" station. A couple of
loud talkers whose booming voices I heard several times a day as they
walked by my cube to get to the cafeteria or the rest room. I pined for
my old cube.
I did tell my manager that the noise was distracting. Soon they fixed
the noisy door. Not much could be done about the loud talkers. I did a
little research and found an unobtrusive pair of earphones that, unlike
most earbud types, had a "closed" design; I forget exactly what that
refers to, but it was a crucial search keyword. They're practically
earplugs. (Sony MDR-EX70LP.) I angled my chair and monitor so that
people could get my attention without having to shout or tap me on the
shoulder. Over time I learned what types of music helped me work, and
what types of music just substituted a different distraction.
The noise still irritates me sometimes, but it's manageable.